Tag Archives: Vegan

Meatless Monday: Asian Tofu Wrap

Asian Tofu Wrap

Asian Tofu Wrap

Asian Tofu Wrap

I had been craving a tofu wrap for weeks and I finally got a chance to make one the other day. I wanted to share this simple recipe with you. It is based off of from a recipe from Chew Bite. Here’s the ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 6 scallions
  • 1 can chopped water chestnuts
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced
  • tamari or soy sauce to taste
  • white cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • chili oil, to taste
  • boston lettuce
  • whole grain tortilla wraps
  • s + p

First, I pressed the tofu and baked it in the oven with some soy sauce, making sure to cook evenly on both sides. Then, I added the garlic, ginger, pepper, chestnuts, carrots, olive oil, sesame oil, tamari and cooking wine to a pan and began sautéing. Add as much of the tamari and cooking wine as you would like to coat the vegetables. Add chili oil to taste. Once the veggies are done cooking, stir in the scallions and the cilantro. Next, pile the veggie mixture, lettuce and the slices of tofu onto a wrap. Add sesame seeds or more tamari if you’d like.

This turned out tasty! It was pretty easy to make and is a great way to use up some veggies that I had in the fridge. Give it a try!

Do you have a favorite wrap recipe? Share with us below!

Meatless Monday: Minestrone con Pesto

Minestrone con Pesto

Minestrone con Pesto

Minestrone con Pesto

Last Friday night I made a minestrone with pesto soup with my boyfriend that turned out excellent. It was based off of a Mario Batali recipe, here’s how to make the soup and pesto:

Pesto:

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Minestrone:

  • 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into medium dice
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch moons, 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 canned plum tomatoes, and their juice
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch moons
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces small whole wheat pasta
  • pesto for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley

First, chop up all the vegetables and sauté everything except the zucchini in a large stockpot with the olive oil. If you need more liquid, add a little water. Once the vegetables become soft, add the zucchini, tomatoes, beans and tomato juice. Cover the vegetables and beans with water and cook for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Next, boil the soup and add the pasta. If you need to, add more water. Cook until the pasta is al dente.

While the soup is finishing up, make the pesto. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Then, ladle the soup into bowls and top with pesto and parsley. Enjoy!

We had our soup with a salad and some bread on the side. It’s a delicious and simple soup to make and the broth has a great almost creamy taste. Plus, the soup is filling enough for dinner!

Do you have a favorite minestrone soup? Share with us below.

Meatless Monday: Spicy, Sweet Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

A few weeks ago, I bought a butternut squash at the farmer’s market in Towson. With the weather getting cooler, I decided that making a soup would be the perfect way to use the squash. I found the below recipe for butternut squash soup from Chow Vegan’s blog and modified it slightly:

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 med carrot, sliced
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 1/2″ fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cube vegan vegetable bouillon dissolved in the water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 heaping tablespoons silken tofu
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped
  • 1-2 pieces baked tofu, cubed (press the tofu and cut into thin slices and bake until lightly browned)
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmug

In a large pot, heat the oil until hot, add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the squash, apple and carrots and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the water, ginger and spices.

Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to low. Cook for about 18 minutes or until the squash is soft. Add the tofu and puree until smooth using an immersion blender if you have one. If you don’t have one, you can use a regular blender. Just cool the soup slightly and blend in small batches. Ladle into bowls and garnish with green onions and baked tofu croutons if desired. Serve immediately.

This soup is easy to make and can be made all in one bowl which means not a lot of cleanup! I added the apple and nutmeg to give the soup a sweeter flavor to contrast with the spiciness of the cayenne. Sooo good! The green onions and baked tofu really top off the soup and give it some extra texture and flavor. This soup is perfect for a light lunch or you could serve it with some bread or salad for dinner. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

I’m always looking for new recipes that use butternut squash. Do you have a favorite butternut squash recipe? Share with us below.

Meatless Monday: Childhood Throwback Smoothie

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich SmoothiePeanut Butter and Banana Sandwich Smoothie

It’s Meatless Monday and I usually post dinner foods or topics of interest. But, this week I had to share an incredible smoothie recipe I made last week. This smoothie could be for breakfast, a snack or even dessert. OK, so did you ever eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches as a kid? The sweetness of  banana mixed with the nutty flavor of peanut butter all piled high on thick slices of wheat bread—it just doesn’t get any better. Well, I’ve made a smoothie recipe that replicates this exact taste, but better because its cool and refreshing and you can drink it from a straw (awesome!).

So, here’s what I used to make this Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich Smoothie

  • frozen bananas
  • peanut butter
  • almonds
  • ground flax seeds
  • plain soymilk

Add ingredients to taste and blend. Just make sure you add enough banana so it’s nice and cold. The texture from the almonds and ground flax seeds is so delicious with the creamy banana and peanut butter. Once you’ve got your smoothie how you want it, sit back, sip and reminisce about being a kid again.

This is on my top 5 smoothie list—it’s that good! Do you have a favorite smoothie? Share with us!

Meatless Monday: Food For Thought—What Do You Think of Carnism?

I started reading this new book called Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy, Ph.D. and wanted to share this video with you.

The video above defines carnism and outlines some of the reasons why it’s an invisible ideology. This invisible belief system she mentions is particularly interesting to me because I’ve been vegetarian (vegan some days) for two years and many people ask me why I am vegetarian and I’ll say many reasons: health, environment, moral,  I’ve never really liked meat, etc. There’s many reasons—I choose to eat the way I do. But, one reason is different—moral. But, when I try to talk to them about how meat is farmed in this country, they just don’t want to hear it. They’re unbelievably uncomfortable when they find out how their food is raised, killed, butchered, etc. People just want to eat mindlessly without knowing the real system their food is coming from. It seems crazy to me, to be able to eat and block out the truth.

So, what do you think?

Meatless Monday: Anything Goes—Vegetables and Quinoa

Vegetables and Quinoa

Vegetables and Quinoa

Vegetables and Quinoa

I got a bunch of vegetables at the farmer’s market on Saturday morning that I wanted to cook up, but wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them. So, I decided to make a variation on my friend, Lauren’s Zucchini and Cinnamon Quinoa Pilaf. Here’s her original recipe:

Zucchini & Cinnamon Quinoa Pilaf

time 30 minutes
yield 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rinsed quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp. safflower oil
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 2 cups water
  • Half a zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas, drained
  • 3 baby portabella mushrooms, minced
  • 1/3 cup shoepeg or white sweet corn, drained
  • 1 heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 1 large yellow wax pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 1/6 cup celery, chopped

Directions

  1. Pour quinoa and water into a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl and cover loosely. Microwave for 5 minutes on high. Fluff with a fork and spritz with some lemon juice, then set aside when done.
  2. Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add safflower oil, salt, zucchini, celery, onion, tomato, mushroom, and yellow wax pepper and sauté.
  3. Stir in chickpeas and shoepeg corn, as well as the cumin and cinnamon, and continue to let simmer until the chickpeas and zucchini begin to brown. Add in some more lemon juice while simmering.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the vegetable mixture with your quinoa.
  5. Enjoy!

My recipe involved using the same spices as above, but with the addition of some black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil and smoky sweet seasoning blend. For the veggies in my recipe I used the eggplant, squash, tomato and peppers I got at the farmer’s market and added some red onion and frozen sweet corn. Everything else was pretty much the same. It turned out spicy and sweet—it’s a great meal to make to eat up some extra veggies.

Usually I cook from recipes, but sometimes it’s fun to improvise and experiment. Have you ever made a dish like this before? Share your tips below!

Meatless Monday: Blueberry Vegan Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

Last night, I had a huge craving for pancakes, so we found the below recipe on VegWeb for blueberry pancakes. Besides, who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner every once and a while? The only modifications I made to the recipe were using 1/2 cup soy yogurt instead of egg replacer, omitting the vegetable oil and using a little less sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • egg replacer equivalent to two eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups soymilk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (if desired)
  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients and stir until blended. Stir in blueberries.
  2. Preheat and oil a pan or griddle. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan and cook until the edges are dry. Carefully flip the pancake over and cook until golden.

The pancakes turned out light and fluffy and full of blueberries! It’s a great way to sneak in some extra fruit. We topped ours with a little maple syrup, powdered sugar, almonds and fresh blueberries…mmmm!!

What’s your favorite food to eat when you make breakfast for dinner?

Meatless Monday: Sunny Summer Squash Soup

Squash Soup

Squash Soup

Squash Soup

Squash is in season and what better way to use it than make a soup? Last week I made this wonderful Sunny Summer Squash Soup from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen’s Recipe. I got most of the produce from the farmer’s market, including the squash, potatoes, garlic, onion and red chili. It uses potatoes to help thicken the soup and a red chili to add a little kick. I made the soup very smooth—but added some red peppers and bread to give it some texture. I also added all the optional ingredients—it was my first time trying tahini (sesame paste) not in hummus. Turns out, I like it. :)

Here’s the recipe if you get a chance to pick up some squash this week:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small hot pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, strings removed and chopped
  • 2 medium (12-14 ounces) gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 1/2 pounds small yellow squash, chopped (or young zucchini)
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional, for color)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (optional)
  • salt and white pepper, to taste (optional)
  • Garnish: slivers of red bell pepper

Heat a large non-stick or enamel-coated pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, covered but stirring every minute or so, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes (add a little water if it tends to stick). Add the garlic and hot pepper and cook for another minute.

Add all remaining ingredients except the optional ones. Cover and cook until the potatoes are completely tender (they will mash if lightly pressed with a spoon), about 25-40 minutes.

Remove half of the soup and put it into a blender and puree at high speed until completely smooth. (Be careful–hot liquids can erupt from your blender; I always remove the center cup from the lid and cover the opening with a kitchen towel.) Once it’s blended, pour the soup into another pot. Add the remaining soup to the blender, along with any optional ingredients you choose to use, and blend well. Add to the other half of the soup, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls, garnish with slices of red bell pepper, and serve.

Do you have a favorite summer soup?

Vegan Blueberry Crisp!

Blueberry Crisp Before Baking

Blueberry Crisp

Blueberry Crisp

Oooh! I’m so excited! I’m having some friends over tomorrow night for board games and fun. So, I made a lovely blueberry crisp for us! The recipe is from one of my favorite vegan websites: Happy Herbivore. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces frozen blueberries, rinsed
  • 5 tbsp agave nectar
  • ⅔ cup rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place blueberries into 10″ glass dish and sprinkle with sugar. In another bowl, mix oats, agave and flour together until it crumbles. Place crumbs over blueberries and sprinkle cinnamon over top. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the top is crisp.

It’s very quick and easy to make—I’ll put it to the test tomorrow with my friends! I can’t wait to try it!

Do you have a favorite fruit crisp you like to make? Share below.

Meatless Monday: Tomato Chickpea Soup with Pasta & Fresh Herbs

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

It’s Meatless Monday! So, what have you been eating today? I had some falafel for lunch (at Shapiro’s) and a gigantic vegetable sandwich with a fruit smoothie for dinner. Super yummy!

As many of you know, I love Italian food, so whenever I can squeeze in tomatoes or pasta into my meals—I’m a  happy girl. So, last week I made this easy and delicious soup called Tomato Chickpea Soup with Pasta & Fresh Herbs from a new cookbook I got at the library called Vegan Express.

Here’s the ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2–3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup tiny pasta (you can use ditalini, bows, etc. but I used medium shells)
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sliced sun-dried tomatoes (optional, but I think the soup tastes much better with them)
  • 1/4–1/2 cup sliced basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill (I used dried dill since that’s what I had and just added to taste)
  • 4 cups water
  • s + p

The recipe goes like this: add the oil and sauté the garlic until golden, add the water to the pot and once it’s boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Then, add all the other ingredients and simmer for about 8 minutes. Lastly add some salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! Seriously, it’s a 30-minute or less soup that doesn’t require a ton of chopping and it tastes wonderful. Also, the beans and pasta are so filling that the soup doesn’t need meat and once you taste the soup it has so much flavor you won’t even be wanting meat anyhow. Oh—and did I mention it’s vegan too!

Do you have a favorite Italian soup? Share below.